Jenna Morasca upset with 'Race' producers
By Maria Sciullo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 'Reality Check' Column - October 15th, 2011
We reality show aficionados accept that footage can be crafted to present an alternate reality. But for Bridgeville native Jenna Morasca, CBS went too far in the Oct. 2 episode of "The Amazing Race."
"When we watched it, we were so mad," said Ms. Morasca, who with fellow "Survivor" winner/boyfriend Ethan Zohn, was eliminated after a leg in Indonesia.
Viewers were presented with this scenario: Ms. Morasca and Mr. Zohn lost a clue and spent so much time recovering it, they wound up near the back of the pack. They were eliminated in an "Amazing Race" first, with two teams going home in one episode.
Anyone watching the program would have assumed -- as we did in last week's "Reality Check" -- that foolishly losing the bright yellow clue cost them dearly.
In truth, they were undone by a cab driver who kept getting lost and repeatedly had to stop for directions. They fell so far behind that briefly losing the clue wasn't even a factor.
Here's how it happened: Earlier that day, teams had the option of dancing in the streets for donations. They donned colorful costumes and masks for the performance.
"When we did the dancing [challenge] in the streets, when we changed clothes , I left the clue with the clothes," Ms. Morasca said.
Editing made it look as though they had to go back to fetch it, at great cost. In reality, "I'd say the clue was about a minute away. We probably spent more time [than that] arguing about it."
She said she and Mr. Zohn did not want to come off as quibbling with the producers, but they did phone a complaint to the CBS producers.
"We said, 'This isn't our first rodeo with you guys, why did you make us look like fools?' "
The pair are now co-hosts of an ABC syndicated show, "Everyday Health," which airs in Pittsburgh at noon on Sundays. Ms. Morasca said CBS knew about the other show, and that she does not believe this had any influence on how she and Mr. Zohn were presented.
"Well I would hope that didn't [matter]," she said.
This was the second time CBS "Survivor" players were featured on "The Amazing Race": Rob Mariano and Beaver County native Amber Brkich ran the "Race" twice.
Ms. Morasca and Mr. Zohn are still racing, albeit domestically. They have been traveling extensively around the U.S. filming segments for "Everyday Health." Two have been shot in Pittsburgh.